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Max Power

"Wake up and smell the coffee!"

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7 hours ago, woody2 said:

its simple....

cap public salaries and cap pensions, should take less than a week....

I would say that without doubt, this is what is going to happen. We are probably just putting it off until everyone else is suffering badly so that it will be easier to sell to PS workers.

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The phrase " wake up and smell the coffee" should only ever be uttered in an ironic style, heavy new york accent. Anyone that has ever said it at any time past or present in any other style than that is undoubtedly a twat in my opinion

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On 2017-4-29 at 9:41 PM, Neil Down said:

You can never have too many O's  :rolleyes:

But you can have too many E's apparently... unless the war on drugs goes away

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18 hours ago, Max Power said:

I would say that without doubt, this is what is going to happen. We are probably just putting it off until everyone else is suffering badly so that it will be easier to sell to PS workers.

Yes, this whole, "we need to grow the population" thing is a ponzi scheme to generate taxes to pay for the civil servant pensions.

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On ‎29‎/‎04‎/‎2017 at 6:32 PM, Max Power said:

To be fair, Chris Thomas has been consistent in his view that we need to increase the population to c. 100,000 with a corresponding increase in the tax base, for quite some time, certainly before the election.

The tendency to view population growth as an indicator of or means to achieving economic growth and/or stability is a bit worrying though.  The issues and potential consequences of population growth (and decline) are so complex and variable that it's a very crude measure, and any strategy to encourage such growth is going to be vulnerable to a whole mess of potential unintended consequences. 

What matters isn't so much the population figure as the net economic benefit or cost of those leaving or those arriving, over both the short term and the long term, including wider economics effects such as on house prices, the upkeep of infrastructure, services, consumer demand, and so on, all of which is incredibly difficult or even impossible to tease out of the statistics with any kind of certainty or reliability.  For instance, one person coming to the Island, working for five or six years, then leaving (perhaps training up a local member of staff to replace them) is probably great for the economy, another who brings one or more kids with them or goes on to have a couple of kids and then takes the whole family back across after they've received ten years of schooling is less so.  Moreover, the impact of such growth is especially hard to determine when we're talking about an extra 20,000 or people in a place as small as the Island.

Rather than chasing the holy grail a population of 100,000 is sometimes imagined to represent, it would be preferable to see more talk about making the most of the population we have at the moment---by increasing skills and training of people already on the Island, encouraging employers further, if need be, to take on and train more local staff, cutting government costs, increasing consumer spending, etc.---with the population being allowed to grow or decline more or less naturally in response to the state of the economy once we've got our house in order.  The desire to boost the population just seems like a short-term and possibly not-terribly-well-thought-through plan based on:

  • that's what it would notionally take, according to some crude calculation, to plug a shortfall in income tax receipts; and
  • Jersey has a population of around 100,000, and those fellas seem to be on the ball.

 

Edited by VinnieK
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"Jersey has a population of around 100,000, and those fellas seem to be on the ball. "

I've just been away on business last week with a couple of people from Jersey.  Whilst away we got talking about our respective economies and they seem to talk in a very similar manner to us in terms of the "challenges" faced.

Their economy has stabalised (in their opinion) although they are at great risk from further banking sector decline (it's a BIG part of their economy).  The Funds sector has been strong for Jersey.   The Government needs trimming (where have we heard that before!?!?!?) and Senators (their MHK's) are largely ineffectual.:lol:

Whilst their population is 100k or so they talked about a similar debate around the value of those people coming in on low incomes versus drain on resources etc.

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Good post Vinnie.

I am convinced that this projection of the 100k population has no relation to anything other than a fag packet calculation of the amount of economic activity needed to foot the bill for the disastrous public sector expansion policies since 1990. Fit the population to the size of government, so to speak, instead of the other way round. It was disastrous because it was founded on a customs and excise agreement that anybody could see was not guaranteed, or even likely, to last forever. The growth in personnel and salary costs were bad enough. The long term liability of the pension arrangements were and are suicidal. They all knew it. Allan Bell warned about the consequences ad nauseam.

I agree that population level is not in itself an indicator of economic wellbeing. Our continuing economic growth over the past five years while the population has reduced and many sectors have struggled is a case in point. It is conceivable that we could experience the opposite. We successfully encourage population growth, but GDP goes into reverse because of the type and value of the employment generated.

Whenever I say here or elsewhere that the benefits of those currently in receipt of PS pensions, or about to be, need to be moderated, there is a general squealing that what has been agreed to has to be honoured, and that the burden must fall entirely onto the shoulders of the younger members of the pension scheme and the taxpayer. I don't know why this sainted group is sacrosanct, because it is not remotely fair, and it will split the population even more into haves and have nots along generational lines. We all signed up for wonderful things years ago that aren't going to happen now. Why are these people immune?

In aiming to square this impossible circle, they are already increasing any charge they can bring to mind. Watch out for them trying to get their hands on the NI fund. Eddie Teare said it would not happen on his watch, but we await a similar commitment from Alf Cannan which would be welcome, but which has not been forthcoming to date. There needs to be an outbreak of realism among the upper echelons of the public service as to their aspirations about what they can fairly expect to take from the pot in retirement. We need to think what has previously been unthinkable. If those liabiities could be moderated then we could look at all of the other policy aspects with fresh perspective. I am not targeting about the modestly pensioned nor about dropping people into penury; just curbing the avarice to a degree. This single issue is driving our entire government policy to everything else and it isn't healthy.

Edited by woolley
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@ Notwell: Jersey is not in a good place. Bankruptcy is often mentioned over there. I would not say that those fellows are "on the ball" at all.

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Oh it's so good to have you back VinnieK :)

As a user of the islands infrastructure I can tell you "Class sizes are too big, health care waiting lists are too long & the roads are terrible!" but on a positive note there are no criminals.

I thought there was a rule that makes the size of the civil service relative to the population, or did I imagine that? Maybe they need to get rid of some of the useless 'pen pushers' and put more useful people in place, fixing roads, teaching children, making people better?  There are an awful lot of admin roles which could be classed as administration for the sake of the administrators rather than people serving any useful purpose.

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12 minutes ago, woolley said:

Good post Vinnie.

I am convinced that this projection of the 100k population has no relation to anything other than a fag packet calculation of the amount of economic activity needed to foot the bill for the disastrous public sector expansion policies since 1990. Fit the population to the size of government, so to speak, instead of the other way round. It was disastrous because it was founded on a customs and excise agreement that anybody could see was not guaranteed, or even likely, to last forever. The growth in personnel and salary costs were bad enough. The long term liability of the pension arrangements were and are suicidal. They all knew it. Allan Bell warned about the consequences ad nauseam.

I agree that population level is not in itself an indicator of economic wellbeing. Our continuing economic growth over the past five years while the population has reduced and many sectors have struggled is a case in point. It is conceivable that we could experience the opposite. We successfully encourage population growth, but GDP goes into reverse because of the type and value of the employment generated.

Whenever I say hrere or elsewhere that the benefits of those currently in receipt of PS pensions, or about to be, need to be moderated, there is a general squealing that what has been agreed to has to be honoured, and that the burden must fall entirely onto the shoulders of the younger members of the pension scheme and the taxpayer. I don't know why this sainted group is sacrosanct, because it is not remotely fair, and it will split the population even more into haves and have nots along generational lines. We all signed up for wonderful things years ago that aren't going to happen now. Why are these people immune?

In aiming to square this impossible circle, they are already increasing any charge they can bring to mind. Watch out for them trying to get their hands on the NI fund. Eddie Teare said it would not happen on his watch, but we await a similar commitment from Alf Cannan which would be welcome, but which has not been forthcoming to date. There needs to be an outbreak of realism among the upper echelons of the public service as to their aspirations about what they can fairly expect to take from the pot in retirement. We need to think what has previously been unthinkable. If those liabiities could be moderated then we could look at all of the other policy aspects with fresh perspective. I am not targeting about the modestly pensioned nor about dropping people into penury; just curbing the avarice to a degree. This single issue is driving our entire government policy to everything else and it isn't healthy.

I would bet my life on the Ni pot being merged with all other government pension schemes, it's just to tempting for them not too.

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Yes, finlo. I "liked" that but of course I don't like it. I can see a unified "Isle of Man Reserve Fund" in the not too distant future. Hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it. What an outrage and an affront to the entire population that would be.

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Wooley,

I suspect also that there are still cost cutting measures that the Government could implement which could actually result in a net benefit (or at least minimal social cost) if handled properly; e.g. in education there are at least two possibilities:

  • merging the majority of sixth forms on the Island into one sixth form college working under or in cooperation with the existing college would probably save money while also allowing more courses to be offered and removing some of the strain on schools' administration and resources;
  • implementing Jersey/UK style on the job training for local prospective teachers would open the career up to the local populace, offer schools a wider pool from which to recruit, and has to be more cost effective than, as we currently do, employing a recruitment firm from across (Hays) and offering teachers from the UK relocation expenses, a £4,000 golden hello and £2,400 p/a housing allowance.

While such measures across all departments probably won't by themselves dig us out of our hole, they stand a good chance of at least helping, and with minimum impact on the local populace. 

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Agree with the sixth form college, Vinnie. We have too many fiefdoms that were allowed to develop and grow in the times of plenty and they have still not been confronted.

I think relocation expenses are offered and maybe even other incentives have been for specific posts. However, we are never going to be attractive to the sort of economically active people we need unless we address the issues that impact their lives. For example, access to the property ladder in an overpriced market and facilities and funding for child care for young families. Until we are realistic about the obstacles to the quality of their lives, people will not come, and worse, those who are here will leave as they have been doing in recent times. We are not the draw that we were in the finance boom. How can we blame people for looking at housing at half the price, cheaper living and assistance with the things families need on offer elsewhere and then voting with their feet?

Edited by woolley
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4 hours ago, notwell said:

Their population is 100k or so they talked about a similar debate around the value of those people coming in on low incomes versus drain on resources etc.

They don't give the full right to reside to most of those who go there on low incomes though do they? Those people end up living in crappy digs because they can't get full residency permits or can only rent largely low value temporary lease properties. They also don't have access to NHS services (as it doesn't exist) or anything else unless they pay privately so they are certainly not the drag that lower earners put on our economy with full rights to reside here and full access to all services. As Vinnie K says they've learned a thing or two down there about how to do it better. Most of the schools are private and I don't believe anyone who has lived there less than 10 years is entitled to any state benefits either so the minute they can't work they have to piss off somewhere else. There's a lot less taxpayer resources drained down there by low tax paying workers than here by a significant factor. Our problem is we let them in and then we give them every service going paid for by the taxpayer even if they're paying bugger all themselves; and we give them benefits to keep them here even if they can't work. The reciprocal agreements on health and benefits are long gone so why are we still doing all this for nothing when other Dependencies who never had reciprocal agreements with the UK never have? 

Edited by JackCarter
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6 minutes ago, JackCarter said:

They don't give the right to live to most of those who go there on low income though do they? Those people end up living in crappy digs because they can't get full residency permits and can only rent certain properties; and they don't have access to NHS services (as it doesn't exist) or anything else unless they pay so they are certainly not the drag that lower earners put on our economy with full rights to reside here and full access to all services. As Vinnie K says they've learned a thing or two down there about how to do it better. Most of the schools are private and I don't believe anyone who has lived there less than 10 years is entitled to any state benefits either so the minute they can't work they have to piss off somewhere else. There's a lot less resources drained down there than here by a significant factor. 

All of this is true, but it hasn't stopped them descending deep into the mire. They were enslaved to the finance sector and now have been oiked up and puked out like the cat does with a hairball.

https://www.ft.com/content/28b1e534-f3c8-11e4-99de-00144feab7de

At the same time they never had the luxury of a nice VAT agreement on the back of which to build up a reserve fund, or to cushion the effects of introducing a zero/10 corporate tax regime.

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